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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 24 March, 2019

Comment #745738 by Peter Richardson

Peter Richardson Nov 22nd 2012, 8:25 AM #

The essential and core facts are clear enough. Clinicians were unable to apply appropriate medical care, a timely inducement. Legally there were precluded from so doing as as a result of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution which makes no distinction between a viable and a non viable foetus. The clinicians had to stand back and I have no doubt that unless they belonged to a pro-life group, they must have been anguished by that legal obligation.

The practical effect of Article 40.3.3 is to give priority in a case such as this because the clinicians are legally obliged to let the heart of the foetus cease beating before they can intervene. Praveen’s account is clear and reliable. His description of the position of the clinicians accords with the legal position and I really can’t see how the clinicians could have acted otherwise unless it decided the pretend that there was no longer any heart beat present, which is what some clinicians might do but thereby committing a very serious criminal offence. Irish law does not yet legislate for therapeutic abortions and that is truly a scandal.

Savita had to be refused potentially life saving medical treatment for the sake of not accelerating the expiry of the foetus. It’s a warped and in humane legal regime which prioritises a few hours or 2 days of foetal heart beat over the long and emotionally rich life of a young woman who had so much to live for.

So, distractions are thrown in. We have to await an inquiry when an inquiry can’t change the basic facts, there are snide references to the possibility that there was gross medical neglect by the clinicians, for which allegations there is no indication whatsoever, to distractions about there only being a fuss due to Savita’s nationality, to anger at India for expressing interest in this matter, to criticising Praveen for not trusting the HSE. I notice a pattern of distraction and non-sequiturs and these are designed to move us away from the core an unalterable reality that the laws of this State , pro-life laws compelled the outcome of the death of Savita. We now know the price in human life of adopting ideological positions. Some religions, such as Roman Catholicism with its centuries long Spanish Inquisition, as just one example, exterminated many human lives , all for ideology.

Let us prioritise human life instead. Our laws should be humane and compassionate. My fear is that there may have been other cases such as Savita’s in Ireland since 1983 but clinicians may have preferred not to explain to less well educated people why they could not act. Praveen has exposed the terrible consequences of bad law, blunt law, law which requires an expiring foetus to be prioritised over the survival of a human being, a young woman. To be blind to that fundamental and shocking reality, shows an appalling lack of empathy and humanity. There are none so blind as does who will not see.

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Read the article where this comment appeared:

Praveen Halappanavar: "I still can't believe that she's not with us"

Praveen Halappanavar: "I still can't believe that she's not with us"

The husband of Savita Halappanavar told Prime Time tonight that he has no confidence in the HSE and wants a public, government-funded investigation into her death.


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